20 Minute Cauliflower Lentil Tacos

Healthy, 20 minute tacos?

Yes, you heard us right.

Lentil Tacos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This taco filling made from lentils and cauliflower makes for a hearty, vegetable meal that satisfies when you’re craving tacos (and who doesn’t crave a good taco dinner every once in a while?).

Served in a fresh corn tortilla and garnished with your favorite taco toppings, you’ll have a tasty, healthy alternative to greasy restaurant tacos.

To make this recipe come together in under 20, you can use either pre-cooked lentils (we love the ones from Trader Joes) or your own cooked lentils. For a spicy finishing touch, try mixing 1 teaspoon of the liquid from chipotle peppers canned in adobo with 1/2 cup Greek yogurt.

Try these tacos for your next meatless Monday meal, busy weeknight dinner or lazy Saturday lunch. Either way, they’re sure to please!

Ingredients
(makes about 3 cups of filling or about 6 servings)
1 head cauliflower
2 cups pre-cooked lentils
1 yellow onion
1 jalapeno
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. Chili powder
1 Tsp. Cumin
1 Tsp. Smoked Paprika
Salt to taste

Organic corn tortillas

Optional Toppings:
Avocado
Cilantro
Greek yogurt or sour cream
Tomato
Salsa
Lime

Directions
1. Prepare the cauliflower by grating with a cheese grater or pulsing in a food processor to break up into small pieces (should be the consistency of like bigger rice)
2. Heat a large skillet and saute diced  onion with a little oil or broth until clear
4. Add cauliflower, garlic and spices and continue to saute until cauliflower is done (about 5 more minutes)
5. Add cooked lentils and saute until all ingredients are warmed and mixed
6. To serve, spoon into corn tortilla and garnish with toppings of choice

*image via cookieandkate, recipe modified from Kate’s Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos

What Your Trainer Eats: Favorite Weeknight Dinners

We know that at the end of the day, dinner is the easiest meal to reach for quick and easy fixes….ahem we’re looking at you frozen pizza.

Like you, our trainers have busy schedules with early mornings and late nights. So when it comes to getting no-fuss, healthy meals into their bodies – these guys are pro’s.

We asked our trainers to share their go-to meals for busy weeknights, favorite healthy restaurants and what they reach for when they have a sweet tooth.

(For more trainer inspiration, check out your trainers favorite healthy breakfasts)

Tracy
Favorite weeknight dinner: Lemony Pan Fried chickpeas and chard with a sunny side egg on top of it. I cut up some avocado on the side and steam some broccoli to go with it too. It’s fast, healthy, easy and delicious.
Favorite spot for a healthy bite out: Nopalito since you can get a meal that is somewhat healthy. I love the Chicken Consomme with vegetables, and fresh avocado cut up in it.
Favorite after dinner sweet fix: A square of dark chocolate dipped into a spoonful of peanut butter. It’s a homemade reese’s peanut butter cup without any work!

Tyler
Favorite weeknight dinner: Black bean burgers on a whole wheat bun and avocado…super yummy and healthy. Or a salad with power greens, feta, walnuts, cranberries and avocado with a lemon dressing.
Favorite spot for a healthy bite out: Pacific catch. They have great fish and shrimp tacos, healthy salad bowls and lots of fresh seafood.
Favorite after dinner sweet fix: Homemade chocolate chip cookies or strawberry shortcake!

Lee
Favorite weeknight dinner: As a vegan, my go-to meal is baked tofu with a big side salad with teriyaki dressing.
Favorite spot for a healthy bite out: Eatsa. They make the best quinoa bowls and are fast and cheap. My favorite is the burrito bowl.
Favorite after dinner sweet fix: Cliff bars! They’re sweet and sustaining.

Katy
Favorite weeknight dinner: Anything I can make in advance and reheat is a winner for me when it comes to busy days or weeks. My favorite make ahead recipe is Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja.  It’s 15 minutes of hands-on work and you let it cook while you’re out all day working, training with BCSF, running errands, or spending time with loved ones.
Favorite spot for a healthy bite out: I love all things seafood!  Pacific Catch is a regular staple for when fellow trainer Tyler and I grab dinner to catch up with each other!  I like the salmon sandwich (no aioli) either with salad or sweet potato fries.
Favorite after dinner sweet fix: Frozen yogurt topped with strawberries and/or dark chocolate nibs. For something a little lighter, I like fresh berries with Light Cool Whip on top.

Rebecca
Favorite weeknight dinner: Throwing together a salad with whatever is in the fridge (usually feta, baby arugula, kale and spinach, avocado and tomatoes from the garden) and grilling up some chicken to slice up and put on top.  It’s quick, generally doesn’t involve a trip to the store and fairly balanced.
Favorite spot for a healthy bite out: I love big salads filled with lots of goodies so Blue Barn is my favorite go-to healthy lunch or dinner.  I normally get the beets and green (no dressing) which is filled with beets, seasonal berries (antioxidants rich), goat cheese, nuts (protein, yay!) and caramelized onions.  It’s delicious, filling and clean.
Favorite after dinner sweet fix: I love sweets so I’d have to say either a homemade chocolate oatmeal chip cookie or fro-yo from Loving Cup

Valerie
Favorite weeknight dinner:  Grilled salmon and asparagus. Or homemade Mac and “Cheese” made with cauliflower and carrots for the “cheese sauce” – the kids love it.
Favorite spot for a healthy bite out: Judahlicious on Judah. They have the best smoothies and acai bowls.
Favorite after dinner sweet fix: Trader Joe’s “just dried mango” or (if I am feeling really naughty) a slice of my husband’s famous banana bread.

Molly
Favorite weeknight dinner: Anything I can make in a slow cooker. I throw all my ingredients in after my morning classes, and come home to a warm meal after my evening classes. Right now, I am making my Paleo Pumpkin Chili all the time.
Favorite spot for a healthy bite out: Takeout from Burma Super Star.  I love their fermented tea leaf salad.
Favorite after dinner sweet fix: Dark chocolate. I also have tea almost every night which helps with a sweet craving. Licorice, peppermint and herbal chai are my favorite.

Mason Jar Burrito Bowls

DSC01709

Our last blog post talked all about tips on how to stay healthy despite a busy schedule.

One of the main tools we discussed was setting aside a couple hours on the weekends to prep some healthy meals for the upcoming week.

Today, we want to share a recipe to help get you inspired: Mason Jar Burrito Bowls.

Mason jar salads are the easiest ways to prepare lot’s of food in a quick amount of time. The airtight seal keeps all the ingredients fresh, so that you can make enough to last the whole week.

With these burrito inspired, flavorful and hearty salads, you’ll never have an excuse for take-out lunch again.

Salad Ingredients
Chopped bell pepper
Cooked and cooled quinoa or riced cauliflower
Baked, cooled and cut sweet potato
Baked, cooled and cut organic chicken breast or black beans
Halved cherry tomatoes
Diced avocado
Chopped romaine lettuce

Dressing Ingredients
3 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs olive oil
1/2 bunch parsley
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp maple syrup
juice of 1 lime
pinch salt

Equipment Needed
4-5 large, wide mouth mason jars

Directions

  1. Prep ingredients and dressing
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of dressing to the bottom of the jar
  3. Then layer in ingredients in the order listed above, starting with crunchy vegetables, followed by grains and proteins, then soft vegetables and lettuce on top
  4. Seal with lid and store in fridge for up to 1 week

Feel free to substitute different vegetables, proteins or greens. You could also take a look at some of these ideas for other flavor combinations.

These salads are also perfect to pack for work, school lunches or travel days.

Make 5-6 with your favorite ingredients and flavors and you’ll be set for a week of healthy, satisfying lunches.

(Photo + Recipe Credit: Momo Wellness)

12 Healthy Ideas For Breakfast

With school back in session and those lazy summer mornings coming to an end, we want to give you our best ideas for easy and quick breakfasts.

Breakfast can be the hardest meal to make healthy choices as we’re usually looking for something quick and easy. Here are 12 creative ideas to get you inspired to try something a little different.

We made sure each of these breakfasts are:

  • Balanced in macronutrients (containing protein, fat and carbohydrates)
  • Whole foods based (no processed ingredients or packaged foods)
  • Quick and simple for busy weekday mornings

1. Mini Green Frittatas . (Make ahead, perfect for busy weeks)

2. Savory Oatmeal. (For mornings when you want a savory meal)

3. Protein Smoothie. (Here’s how to make a macronutrient balanced smoothie.)

4. Chia Seed Pudding. (Quick, simple, nutritious)

5. Almond Butter + Quick Chia Jam  + Ezekiel Bread Toast. (Think PB&J with a healthy twist for adults)

6. Baked Eggs in Avocado. (Low carbohydrate, filling and easy)

7. Sausage + Vegetable Hash. (For when you’re burnt out on eggs)

8. Shakshuka .(For when the pantry is bare)

9. Banana Oat Blender Pancakes. (Pancakes without the clean up mess!)

10. Smoked Salmon + Avocado + Ezekiel Bread Toast. ( Quick, balanced and high in Omega 3 fatty acids)

11. Breakfast Salad (a healthy, travel friendly breakfast)

12. Leftover Soup (While some dinner leftovers aren’t usually appealing in the morning, try a simple chicken or lentil soup for dinner and have the leftovers for breakfast!)

What are your favorite weekday morning breakfast? What do you do to prepare healthy meals for busy mornings? Tell us on Facebook or in the comments below, we’d love to hear!

Overnight Chia Pudding

One of the biggest challenges we all face is how to deal with a busy schedule and still eat well.

The best way to tackle a busy day is to have your food already packed and prepped. That means the forethought of meal prep and planning. But if you’re really slammed, then that can be a challenge too.

The good news is that we have a recipe below that makes a great breakfast or snack and that will keep you eating well without spending more time in the kitchen.

This chia seed pudding recipe takes about 5 minutes to make and you can have enough for 4 hearty snacks.

Plus, it’s chocolate.

Win, win.

Chia seeds are a seed known for their Omega 3 content. Omega 3’s are ranked one of the most important essential nutrients (1). In the nutrition world, the word essential means our bodies cannot produce the nutrient so the only way to get it is through our food.

In the short term, increasing the amount of Omega 3’s in your diet can help reduce inflammation. And in the long term, a proper Omega 3 balance has been shown to decrease the chances of some chronic diseases (1).

Try this chia seed pudding recipe that is high in Omega 3’s, fiber, complete protein and is a perfect snack for busy days and weeks.

Overnight Chia Pudding
Recipe (and image) modified from paleomg.com

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)
1. 5 cups almond or coconut milk
1/3 cup chia seeds
2-3 Tbs. pure maple syrup (Grade B)
4 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
Dash of cinnamon, salt and vanilla

Directions
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and whisk well, making sure all of the chia seeds are dispersed.
Let sit in the fridge overnight.
Serve chilled (and optionally topped with fresh berries or fruit)

Tip: These are great to make in single-serving portions in mason jars for grab-n-go snacks. (For a single serving try 3 Tbs. Chia seeds to about 1 Cup liquid)

Pro Tip: If you have extra jars lying around, you can add all the dry ingredients to your jars and store. Then, when you know you’ll need a breakfast to-go, just add your liquid the night before, shake and done!

Nutritionist tip: Increase your Omega 3’s by eating cold water fish 2-3 times per week and snacking on walnuts, chia pudding and hemp seeds.

Try this recipe out this week! And don’t forget to tag #nourishbcsf to share!

Sources:
1. http://articles.mercola.com/omega-3.aspx

 

Kale Corn Salad: 2 Ways

I’d like to introduce you to the perfect summer salad.


Really, it’s perfect.

I made this salad 1 year ago for a potluck and my friends are STILL asking me about it.

Great for potlucks, as a side dish to your BBQ, or on top of tacos, this dish also makes great leftovers (perfect for adding eggs to in the morning!)

Originally this recipe (adapted from the Healthy Happy Vegan Cookbook author) is dressed with the sweet miso dressing which compliments the crunchy salad perfectly.  (If you’ve never had miso, it’s a paste made from fermented soybeans. And if you’re thinking “ewwww”,  it’s a traditional Japanese seasoning with a tangy, salty taste and tons of flavor. It’s also quite nutritious!)

However, since not everyone has miso hanging around their fridge, the second way to serve this salad is with the garlicky lemon dressing. Also, a delicious compliment to the sweet corn and vegetables.

Nutritionist’s tip: Bring a salad to the party. Summers are full of parties, BBQ’s and lot’s of social engagements. This means lot’s of eating! If you bring a salad or vegetable as your contribution to the party, you’ll always have a tasty and healthy option to fill your plate. 

Recipe modified from: Healthy Happy Life

Salad Ingredients
2 ears of summer corn, shucked and kernels removed from cob
4-6 cups kale, washed and finely chopped (remove thick stems)
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 small white or sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red cabbage

Sweet Miso Dressing
2 Tbs white or yellow miso paste
1 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs Soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos or Tamari
4 Tbs olive oil
4 Tbs rice vinegar
Black pepper

Garlicky Lemon Dressing
4 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
1. Prep veggies
2. Mix in a large bowl
3. Whisk all dressing ingredients
4 Stir dressing into salad and let sit in refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.

Notes:
If you prefer cooked corn to raw, then boil corn before shucking. However, most sweet corn is delicious as is!

Savory Oatmeal: Your New Favorite Breakfast

Do you like oatmeal for breakfast? We know that it’s a favorite both for us here at BCSF (check out what our trainers eat here) and for you at home. It’s quick, satisfying and the ultimate comfort breakfast to come home to after a brisk morning workout.

But we have a way for all you oatmeal lovers to mix up your flavors and boost your nutrition without saying goodbye to your go-to breakfast.

If you’ve never tried savory oats, we think they will be your new favorite thing.

Here’s why:

  •  Adding an egg to your oats gives a  boost of protein (oats alone don’t have much) which will also help balance the carbohydrate rich oats.
  •  Eating savory flavors in the morning can actually affect your cravings later in the day. When we eat a lot of sweet flavors, we crave more of them. By swapping oatmeal  for a savory version, your telling your brain savory = fuel. You may even be less likely to crave dessert.
  • Choosing steel cut oats over regular rolled oats increases the amount of fiber and lowers the glycemic index of our breakfast. This means no crash of energy at 11am and reaching for that (maybe not so healthy) mid morning snack.

Here’s how:

Ingredients (serves 1)
1/4 cup quick cook steel cut oats
Olive Oil
1 egg
Parmesan cheese or sharp cheddar
Salt and pepper

Directions
Cook oats according to package
Meanwhile poach egg
Serve oats, topped with egg, cheese and seasonings

Optional additions / swaps:
Add sauteed greens
Add steamed vegetables
Swap oats for another grain (like quinoa or amaranth)

If you want more savory oat ideas, we love these.

These savory oats are the perfect choice for busy weekday mornings or for weekends when you need food fast, but want something a little more fancy. Heck, we’d even eat them for lunch. Give this healthy, balanced breakfast a try and we’re sure it will become one of your new favorites.

7 Make Ahead Muffin Recipes to Kickstart Your Day

Whenever a new bootcamp session begins you’ll inevitably hear about the importance of eating something before you come to class. Classic responses to this never-ending conundrum include everything from a piece of toast to a banana. I tend to usually make an english muffin with peanut butter as that seems to be the right amount of food that can give me a little energy at 6:00 AM and not make me feel ill if we have to do sprints in the first 10 minutes.

But boy does it get boring! What I really like to do, if I can get my act together on Sunday evening, is bake a batch of muffins. Then I can just grab one on my way out the door and eat it as I walk to class. Of course, not all muffins are created equally. My absolute favorite muffin recipe is actually for bran muffins. Sounds good for you, right? Not so much though as the batter contains an entire stick of butter and a cup of sour cream. They’re really delicious but ingredients like that sort of defeat the purpose of getting out of bed to workout so it’s probably best to save those for a weekend treat.

Thankfully there are oodles of make ahead muffin recipes that are composed of much more diet and exercise friendly components including a host of great replacements and additions to white flour and sugar. Perhaps one of the following will make it into your weekday rotation? Personally, I have my eye on the Spinach and Quinoa Muffins.

Primal Pumpkin Nut Muffins via my blog, ErinCooks.com

Whole Grain Almond Poppyseed Muffins via Amy of Nook and Pantry

Gluten-Free Mango Muffins via Marla at Family Fresh Cooking

Spinach and Quinoa Muffins via Lisa at Dandy Sugar

Almond Meal Banana Muffins via Gabrielle at Honest Fare

Beet and Oat Muffins via Sonia at The Healthy Foodie

Low Fat Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins via Gina at SkinnyTaste